Untangling Multiple Names – Frances (Frank) Dominick (Nick) Arvis



Untangling Multiple Names

Sometimes tracing an ancestor is just grueling work that requires capturing lots of data and then analyzing the information to determine if the data is in fact the ancestor you are researching. I was recently researching an ancestor for a friend that required lots of work. Her ancestor was Frances Dominick Arvis. Frances was born in Chicago and lived much of his life there. The problem in tracing his life is that some records call him Nick, some Frank, some Dominic or Dominick, and some Francis or Frances. And his surname is sometimes Arris, or Arvia. Then to compound the issue his father’s name is Dominick Frances Arvis, so untangling the spaghetti mess of these two people and isolating them from, a seemingly unrelated, Frank Arvis was a challenge. I’m not 100% done yet, but I think I have most if it sorted out.

The method I used was to create a new family unit for virtually every document I came across. He alone, he with one of his three wives (who also used several different names) and each Arvis child record I found with the parents identified. After I assembled dozens of facts, I began to look closely at the data and determine where and when I could merge two individuals. As I merged more and more of my many Nicks, Franks, Dominicks, and Frances, I found it easier and easier to determine when I had the right person, when I had his father, and when I had that unrelated person. So, I suggest when you have a confusing mix of names that need sorting out, consider each individual as separate and then consider carefully when an individual can be merged with another.

Frances Dominick Arvis (aka Nick, aka Frank) (1922-1994)

South Water Street, Chicago, IL c. 1920
Photo #521091from NARA via Wikimedia

Frances Dominick Arvis was born in Chicago on 2 June 1922, the second child of Dominick and Eleanor (Antos) Arvis. He had an older brother, Bernard, who was about 15 months older than he.

When Frank was two, his sister, Isabella, was born (on 30 October 1924).

His mother gave birth to twins, Anthony and Antonia, on 28 January 1927. Little Antonia died one month later on March 5, 1927.

In June of 1928 another sister was born.

The 1930 Census shows his father, mother, he, and two of his sisters living at 5301 South Halsted Street in Chicago. (It is a vacant lot today.) His older brother, Bernard, isn’t in the 1930 Census and doesn’t show up again and is presumed dead. Likewise, his other brother, Anthony, the twin of Antonia, was not enumerated in the 1930 census and is also presumed dead. His father is a barber and his mother is keeping house.

In 1931 his brother William was born.

On 5 February 1935 disaster stuck. His father died, meanwhile his mother was pregnant with what would be her 8th child (although three had passed).

By 1940, his mother had remarried and he and his four siblings were living with his mother and stepfather at 942 E. 76th St., Chicago. He was attending school.

Sometime between 1940 and 1942 Frances Dominick Arvis married Louise Margaret Eskman. He and Louise would have six children together (all still living).

Francis Dominick Arvis died on 27 Oct 1994 in Lake County Indiana, USA. (Lake County is just east of Chicago, where Gary, IN is.)


Sources available upon request.

One thought on “Untangling Multiple Names – Frances (Frank) Dominick (Nick) Arvis”

  1. Thank you for your research. I just want to tell you that William Arvis was born in 1930. I am married to William Arvis’ second son [….].

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